HRH Prince Albert Victor of Wales became our Club Patron and, on 27 October 1887, Queen Victoria agreed that the club could use the Royal prefix. It is believed that no other golf club obtained its Royal title so soon after it was founded.
The 8th Duke of Devonshire accepted the Presidency which has stayed with the family ever since and his son, The Marquis of Hartington MP, became the first Club Captain.
The Eastbourne Ladies’ Golf Club was founded in 1888. The original 6-hole course was on land to the right of the current 17th hole and, in 1889, the Duke had a small pavilion built as a clubhouse.
On 9 December 1893, Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife, became the club patron and restyled it as The Royal Eastbourne Ladies’ Golf Club making it the first ladies club to be granted royal status. The ladies club was the first in Sussex and one of the first ten in England and they were founding members of the LGU.
In the late 1890s the land on which the course lay was needed for development and a new course was designed in the centre of the men’s course.
In 1933, the main club opened a ladies section and the Ladies’ club eventually came to an end on 30 September 1937, creating a single Royal Eastbourne Golf Club.
The Royal Eastbourne Golf Club has had a number of famous members, its earliest being H.G Hutchinson who won the amateur Championship in 1886 and 1887.
Other famous members include Cyril Tolley, Angus Valdemar Hambro and A.J Balfour, who was Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905, and during the 1914-1918 war.